Serge Santiago Interview | DJMag.com Skip to main content

Serge Santiago Interview

Since his 2007 residency at We Love Sundays at Space, Ibiza, Serge Santiago has been more in-demand than ever.

And with the spotlight focused on this talented DJ/producer he's decided it high time to kick his Arcobaleno label – first founded in 2005 – back into gear. Both an outlet for his Italo re-licks and fresh productions for like minded producers, the imprint's first emission since its reinvigoration is an edit by Serge himself of lost discoids The Droids' 'The Force parts 1 & 2'. We found out more…

How did your label Arcobaleno first come about?

"It first came about from me doing these edits all the time, I doing Italo disco edits for my DJ sets, and I thought you know what, these are good enough to release, and I put them out as these illegal releases all with a different colour, and I thought how am I gonna call it something that's got loads of colours in it, all the colours of the rainbow, and my girlfriend of the time said, why don't you call it Arcobaleno, its rainbow in Italian? At that time I was playing in Italy all the time, and I thought, that's fuckin' genius."

When did Italo disco first become an obsession?

"When I realised that I didn't want to work in Sainsburys or Tescos or somewhere like that. I was trying to figure out what to do and was going out to all the parties, and thought, how the hell am I gonna get involved, am I gonna start a club night, make music or be a DJ, I had to make friends with people doing it at the time and push my self forward a bit, and then somehow write some music. It all seemed to be going so well, and that's how I ended up meeting Matt and working on the first Radio Slave stuff."

What's the label philosophy?

"Everything on Arcobaleno has to sound really edit-y, I have released something which doesn't sound edit-y and it sold least out of everything on so far in the series, so I made a mistake there and decided to go back to doing what the label does best, which is making stuff which is very edit-y. Doesn't mean that it has to have samples, it just means that it has to have an edit feel to it."

The latest track is a version of The Droids 'The Force', why did you choose that tune to edit?

"I was on YouTube looking for tracks on a disco vibe, and I came across The Droids, and I was like what the fuck, it was the most amazing thing I'd seen, these people dressed in silver, playing keyboards. I thought it was such a good record, too, but I wouldn't have been able to play it in my set because it doesn't have enough percussion in it. I thought I'd do an edit, and it turned out really well, had a really good feel to it, a hands in the air kind of breakdown, I added a kick drum, and thought, yeah people are really gonna want to play this. It's just one of these things that I came upon randomly, I didn't find it in a record store, just on YouTube!"

What have you got coming up on the label?

"The next release is going to be a re-release of the first track, 'Atto D'Amore', with a new mix of it. There's always space for original stuff as well, but I tend to get bogged down and do edits all the time, it's slightly easier and fits in with my sound really well. There's my album project, which is coming up. It's more of a re-edits label than it is an original label."

How about your own material or activities?

"I've got a compilation coming up which is three CDs – one is gonna be wicked classic Italo, the second the edits that I've done mixed together, and the third hopefully a DVD documentary to explain what Italo is. I'm gonna try to do that, and then also me and friend are doing an album at the moment, and it's sounding like the best thing I've ever done, that's another project that I'm really excited about."